Box Profits

Oct 05, 2007 (LBO) – John Keells Holdings’ (JKH) associate South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) has reported record container volume growth in its Colombo port terminal but the facility is nearing capacity, port officials and analysts said. “SAGT will continue to be a cash generating operation but if JKH wants to be a growth story then it must look at where it’s going to get future growth.” This makes it vital for JKH to win the bid for the new container terminal in Colombo port in order to maintain growth from its existing transportation business, now the main source of the conglomerate’s profits, analysts said.

SAGT has announced it handled 141,837 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or containers) in September 2007, setting a new monthly record.

“The stellar performance beats the monthly record set in July 2007 of 141,444 TEUs,” the terminal, which is one of JKH’s cash cows, said.

Surpassing the one million TEU mark in eight months, SAGT has handled 1,143,114 TEUs in the first nine months of this year, up 16.8 per cent over the same period of 2006, it said.

Colombo’s privatised container terminal, in which JKH has a 33.75 percent stake making it the largest single shareholder, is aiming to break the 1.5 million TEU m